Friday, December 10, 2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Well, at the last minute I found out that the nearby theatre was having a midnight showing of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Quickly we bought the tickets and then anxiously awaited the moment to see this movie. Now I will insert a caveat. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my least favorite Narnia book. I wasn't really concerned about what would change.

That was a good thing. If you are going to see an adaptation of your favorite book, this is not the movie for you.

Now for the proper review from
"Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship the Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world."

~Edmund really is a protective older brother
~The lessons that they learn on their journey are applicable to more than just those on the Dawn Treader

~There were really no cons. Or at least ones that stand out. More about the movie overall later on.
~However, there are a few scary parts. Near the end of a movie a Sea Serpent attacks the ship, but it is not your "normal" sea serpent. It is very scary. As someone commented, it is very likely to scare little children. Also the Dark Island is much darker than in the books or BBC versions. It is intense and there a nightmares that manifest into different forms and could be very scary if you were young and didn't understand what was happening.

~I don't remember any language

~The closest thing is a scene with Ramandu's daughter. She is a beautiful lady and Caspian and Edmund are obviously taken with her. They are having difficulty answering her questions. She offers to change form. They both shout, "No!"
~Some of the Pirate's in the Lone Islands might make inappropriate comments

PG for some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action. (These really make me laugh)

Overall the movie was good. I really enjoyed the 2 hours in the theatre. It was a story with good messages (Lucy wants to be someone she's not, and finds the consequences, Edmund deals with greed as does Caspian, Reepicheep demonstrates gallantness, Eustace learns to think of others).

But, just as in Prince Caspian, the story doesn't follow the book and therefore loses some of the necessary parts that pulls everything together.

Some of the obstacles are:
All the islands are not there and a couple are mushed together or the sequence changed. For instance, the island where Eustace becomes a dragon and the Gold Island are made into one. I felt that the importance of Eustace becoming a dragon and what that truly meant was downplayed because it was sharing time with Edmund and Caspian dealing with their greed.

Another obstacle also involved Eustace. Eustace is not made human again on the same island. They sail away with him as a dragon. Because he doesn't become a dragon on the same island, he doesn't have much time to show his growth as a boy. His dragon-self grows, but we don't really associate the dragon's growth with the boy's growth. So the end of his story seemed very rushed.

Some of the changes just weren't necessary. They added a second story line that really detracted from the story Lewis wrote.

Although there are many changes to the story, I really do like the movie as a separate entity from the book. I would like to go see it again in 2D.

What did you think?


  1. Hi! I also enjoyed the movie very much. However, I took to the movies two girls, aged 10 and 12, and the little one was afraid of the sea serpent (she closed her eyes and hugged me and said it was very scary). So maybe, even with parental (or nanny!) guidance, the movie isn´t suitable for very young children.

    I love your reviews, by the way! And I can´t wait to watch Like Dandelion Dust :-)

  2. Thank you for reminding about the Sea Serpent. I had meant to add a caveat in the review about it, but it slipped through the cracks. I think I'll edit the review and add it back in.

    I'm glad you like the reviews. I would love to hear what you think of Like Dandelion Dust when you see it!

    Thank you again!

  3. I went in thinking it wasn't going to be a true adaption. So I was expecting the sea serpent and Dark Island to be the climatic scenes. And I'm really not all that bothered by it. Movies and books are two different media forms and what works for one might not work for another. And I'm finally ok with that!

    Voyage of the Dawn Treader is one of my favourites of the Narnia series. I mean, when I read the last chapter I am inevitably in tears over just how good and beautiful it is. But after Prince Caspian I didn't have high hopes for the movie. I was proved wrong - the last ten minutes were just as good and beautiful as the book, if slightly different. And I shall admit - yes, I did spent it crying because it was so good and beautiful.

    I ought to stop starting sentences with 'and...' I am SO grateful that their portrayal of Aslan was up to scratch in this movie, which I didn't feel that it was for 100% of the time in Prince Caspian. So yes, I'm grateful for this movie.

  4. I agree, Katy! They are two separate entities. Now, I happen to think that the book could have been made into a movie the way it was. (And a few of us on narniaweb wrote the script to prove it.) But I still really enjoyed the movie. I too was teary eyed at the end. It was a mixture of joy and sadness.

    I just wanted to emphasize again that I DID like this movie!